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Congratulations to the Dems - Page 3

post #81 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

And, of course, the government is the solution to all problems large and small. Why don't you do a study of vast number of socialistic failures before pontificating about how we should try even more socialistic programs and plans.

Because our only options lie on a continuum with two extremes and no middle ground...
post #82 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Because our only options lie on a continuum with two extremes and no middle ground...

Correct. Either admit that the federal government is entirely illegitimate or confess to be being a Stalinist monster.

Declare yourself!
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post #83 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Because dealing with things like terrorism, national energy policy, balance of trade and immigration are "socialist"?

Well "national energy poplicy" is, and you forgot about the "dysfunctional health care system" (which implicitly must be fixed by the government). Yes. Those are.

Terrorism will sort itself our when our country stops interfering with the affairs of other nations. Immigration...well...let's just open the borders (as they have been for most of our history) and let people who desire work, come and get it. And what exactly is the balance of trade problem? Should we close the borders to immigration and goods?
post #84 of 196
I have to say something about this idea that divided government is a good thing.

We have an institutionally divided government. It's the basis of our system. The principle of checks and balances in our system is supposed to be built-in, it's not supposed to occur only when the branches are from different parties. That's what broke in 2000-2006, when Republicans put party loyalty above all, even in the face of irrational actions on the part of the executive branch. We don't necessarily need different parties controlling different branches, we just need the branches of our government to function as they should.

Our government has never operated like it did the past 6 years. Congress has always felt itself to be independent of the executive branch, even when they were of the same party. Other presidents whose parties controlled Congress never would have gotten away with the insane stuff Bush has done.
post #85 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Because our only options lie on a continuum with two extremes and no middle ground...

Now quit pretending that things like the government stepping in to "fix" health care and defining a "national energy policy" are in the "middle ground".
post #86 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

You are talking about the national debt (the accumulation of all deficits minus all surpluses)...not the (annual) budget deficit.



Well, most people do. The annual budget of the federal government is approximately $2.2T. The total outstanding debt is only about 4X that. What is your outstanding debt to annual expenses/income ratio?

While I am a staunch fiscal conservative, I also realize the need to put these numbers into perspecive.



President Clinton and the Republican congress did a great job with the economy and under President Clinton and the Republican congress the deficit started going down as there was a moderate budget surplus.

Under Clinton there was not a republican congress... there was a republican house of representatives starting in 1994. The Democrats still had the Senate until 2000. So the Democrats were deff in the majority. At any rate, I agree with you on a lot of the stuff you said, but I'm making the point that the economy and US budget was better under Clinton, and Bush did have a lot to do with the recession.
post #87 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Now quit pretending that things like the government stepping in to "fix" health care and defining a "national energy policy" are in the "middle ground".

Because any government intervention in those areas is "socialism?"
post #88 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Because any government intervention in those areas is "socialism?"

Explain exactly what "fixing" health care and implementing a "national energy policy" involves?
post #89 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Explain exactly what "fixing" health care and implementing a "national energy policy" involves?

Is any government intervention in that area "socialism?"
post #90 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Is any government intervention in that area "socialism?"

Socialism is the direct or indirect control of the means of production. In order to accomplish these things ("fixing" health care and implementing a "national energy policy") will require the direct or indirect control of these areas of the economy. Therefore, I believe that they are.

P.S. If it makes you feel any better, I believe that the variety of corporate welfare that you would likely decry are also socialistic in their basic nature.
post #91 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Now quit pretending that things like the government stepping in to "fix" health care and defining a "national energy policy" are in the "middle ground".

The government doesn't "step in" to "fix" these things because the lines between "government" and "private industry" aren't nearly as sharp as you apparently imagine. The question is whether the government "gets involved", its how it executes on what is already an elaborate interdependence.

As far as "middle ground" goes, I'm sure in the well thumbed Big Book of Free Market Absolutists that you have over there in the compound, "government involvement" is filed under "extremist"; however, in any context that provides a reasonable metric for possible levels of government involvement in matters of national interest (other countries in the industrialized west, polling of American opinion, our own history in the twentieth century), having a national energy policy and some kind of government involvement in the delivery of health care resources (we'll leave your startling position of laissez faire national security alone for now) is most assuredly "the middle".
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post #92 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Well, I believe that what would be required in "fixing" it and creating a "national energy policy" are. Yes.

I think you're mistaken here.

Sure, full-blown universal health care coverage would characterize one aspect of a socialist government, but that's not the only option governments have in intervening in health care policy. For example we could cover more people under certain income or under or over certain age thresholds. Read a health care policy journal and you'll find tons of options requiring government intervention short of what a socialist government accomplishes. You're saying that any intervention in that area is "socialist" when that fails to account for approaches that leave substantial parts of the free-market dictated part intact. It's nonsensical and clearly self-contradictory.
post #93 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

I'm sure in the well thumbed Big Book of Free Market Absolutists that you have over there in the compound,

I guess it is easier for you to argue against the caricature of me that you have fabricated in your imagination than to actually think about what I have said (or what you have for that matter).

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

however, in any context that provides a reasonable metric for possible levels of government involvement in matters of national interest (other countries in the industrialized west, polling of American opinion, our own history in the twentieth century), having a national energy policy and some kind of government involvement in the delivery of health care resources (we'll leave your startling position of laissez faire national security alone for now) is most assuredly "the middle".

Of course it is.

post #94 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Socialism is the direct or indirect control of the means of production. In order to accomplish these things ("fixing" health care and implementing a "national energy policy") will require the direct or indirect control of these areas of the economy. Therefore, I believe that they are.

P.S. If it makes you feel any better, I believe that the variety of corporate welfare that you would likely decry are also socialistic in their basic nature.

You're saying that the United States, as well as every other developed nation on earth is socialist.

Whatever primal capitalism free market utopia that you are apparently using as a frame of reference doesn't exist. Never has.

So you want to argue the efficacy of a rigorous fantasy system against real world ambiguity and compromise in order to find the real world to be a crime against nature, nature being defined as your fantasy.

That is neither tenable nor particularly sane. You sound like the mirror inversion of an old line Marxist decrying the evils of capital and confidently contrasting its depredations to the obvious advantages of a workers paradise.
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post #95 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Your saying that the United States, as well as every other developed nation on earth is socialist.

That's an even better angle of what I was trying to say.
post #96 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

I think you're mistaken here.

I know you do. No surprise there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

Sure, full-blown universal health care coverage would characterize one aspect of a socialist government, but that's not the only option governments have in intervening in health care policy. For example we could cover more people under certain income or under or over certain age thresholds.

Which is socializing health care. It is only a matter of degree that you are arguing. "But it's only a little bit socialist!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

You're saying that any intervention in that area is "socialist"

Well, to be more truthful, I was jumping on the "fixing" health care thing. How the government does that short of a broad socialistic plan is quite unclear (and you have made no less so).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

It's nonsensical.

Of course you think so.
post #97 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

I guess it is easier for you to argue against the caricature of me that you have fabricated in your imagination than to actually think about what I have said (or what you have for that matter).

You're very clearly arguing (and have argued before) that the United States ought not to have a Federal Government, or one so truncated as to be rendered nearly powerless.

That is an off-the-charts extremist position, one shared by a vanishingly slight percentage of the population.

It is the position, however, of the kind of people who declare their little subsistence farms in Idaho to be "sovereign nations" and reserve the right to shoot at Federal agents should they "invade".

No caricature necessary.
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post #98 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Your saying that the United States, as well as every other developed nation on earth is socialist.

Of cousre I am not. Now who is talking in extremes. That is a straw man. What I have said is that the government stepping in to "fix" health care and to implement a "national energy policy" are necessarily socialistic. You (or ShawnJ) haven't proved they are not...you've only retreated to the position that it is OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

You sound like the mirror inversion of an old line Marxist decrying the evils of capital and confidently contrasting its depredations to the obvious advantages of a workers paradise.

Again...your imaginative caricature of me is mildly entertaining but hardly effective in supporting your argument.
post #99 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

You're very clearly arguing (and have argued before) that the United States ought not to have a Federal Government.

No. Not really. But if that's the straw man you want argue against, enjoy yourself.
post #100 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Of cousre I am not. Now who is talking in extremes. That is a straw man. What I have said is that the government stepping in to "fix" health care and to implement a "national energy policy" are necessarily socialistic. You (or ShawnJ) haven't proved they are not...you've only retreated to the position that it is OK.



Again...your imaginative caricature of me is mildly entertaining but hardly effective in supporting your argument.

Dude. How can I put this. The United States Federal Government already is deeply involved in health care delivery and energy policy. And land use. And worker's relationship to employers. And manufacturing processes. And standards of weights and measures. The flow of capital. Interest rates. Regulation of industry. Prohibition of substances. I could go on like this for a while.

Ergo, by your lights, the United States is a socialist country, and every other first world democracy must be some kind of super-duper king hell socialist country, which is surprising seeing how they don't appear to be in flames or sending their citizenry off to work camps.

The idea that using the federal government to improve the allocation of health care resources crosses a line that precipitates socialism is just silly, and I don't think you really want to arguing that.

That's the trouble with being an absolutist, you work yourself in to a corner every time.
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post #101 of 196
I don't get it. I give up.
post #102 of 196


CC is an ideologue, and you can't win a debate against an ideologue, since it can never exist, in the real world!

Inotherwords, arguments based on ideologies, are specious at best!

Nothing to see here, move along!

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post #103 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Ergo, by your lights, the United States is a socialist country,

In many aspects it is. Yes. Not entirely...yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

The idea that using the federal government to improve the allocation of health care resources crosses a line that precipitates socialism is just silly, and I don't think you really want to arguing that.

I am not. What I have said is that it is socialistic (it is). When the government steps in to begin controlling or managing (directly or indirectly) how private resources are used and allocated, it is socialistic. I note again that you haven't denied this, you have only taken the position that it is OK.

I am also of the view (unlike you) that government is not the best way to solve those problems (health care and energy).
post #104 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent

CC is an ideologue, and you can't win a debate against an ideologue, since it can never exist, in the real world!

Your lame attempt at ad hominem by attempting to use "ideologue" in pejorative sense does nothing to further debate in an useful way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent

Inotherwords, arguments based on ideologies, are specious at best!

Everyone is arguing based on some ideology. Arguing from the position that government can and should be used as a tool of societal betterment is arguing from an ideology. It is foolish to suggest otherwise.

I realize that because you don't agree with (or like) a particular ideology, you'll simply dismiss it (and its promoters) without any further thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent

Nothing to see here, move along!

I assume you are referring to your post.
post #105 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Ergo, by your lights, the United States is a socialist country, and every other first world democracy must be some kind of super-duper king hell socialist country

I think you are under the misconception that "socialist == bad", or "socialist == has the goal of abolishing democracy and setting up communism".

You shouldn't be confusing socialism in a democratic context with Marxist socialism.

To an extent, the US is indeed a democratically socialist. So are most first world countries.
post #106 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

In many aspects it is. Yes. Not entirely...yet.



I am not. What I have said is that it is socialistic (it is). When the government steps in to begin controlling or managing (directly or indirectly) how private resources are used and allocated, it is socialistic. I note again that you haven't denied this, you have only taken the position that it is OK.

I am also of the view (unlike you) that government is not the best way to solve those problems (health care and energy).

OK, I have no problem with that.

As Chucker says, however, I think the way you are using "socialism" is calculated to speciously evoke the totalitarian and authoritarian movements of the twentieth century, as if "national health care" is but a stepping stone to "gulag".

That kind of linking is not useful for policy discussions, because it presumes a terrible end point for relatively benign increments in a way that is completely illogical. The "failed socialist experiments" of the twentieth century did not piggy-back on national energy policies or health care strategies, nor do the far-more-socialist-than-the-US governments of Europe appear to be in danger of totalitarianism.

You can be against government participation all you like but the world presents little to no evidence that it leads to disaster, which seems to be your organizing notion.
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post #107 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

I realize that because you don't agree with (or like) a particular ideology, you'll simply dismiss it (and its promoters) without any further thought.



Call it what you will, but I've seen enough of your arguments, TO IF FACT, call YOU an ideologue!

And since, I'm a pragmatist, a realist, an observationist, an empiricalist, I'm not in the habit of taking on ideologues, since their viewpoint, can by it's nature, NEVER EXIST!

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post #108 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

As Chucker says, however, I think the way you are using "socialism" is calculated to speciously evoke the totalitarian and authoritarian movements of the twentieth century, as if "national health care" is but a stepping stone to "gulag".

Are you sure that's what he is saying, as opposed to what you read into what he is saying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent

And since, I'm a pragmatist, a realist, an observationist, an empiricalist

Bwahaha.

So when will you quit smoking?
post #109 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Don't patronize me. You're not looking at the whole picture.

The current US deficit as of 10 Nov 2006 at 09:22:25 PM GMT is: $8,593,072,464,824.13, or in other words, 8.5 trillion dollars. That us HUGE. And knowing how to balance a budget is not just about getting money into the government, it is about spending it wisely.

Take your own personal budget for instance. You would not spend more than you made, and to some extent the government can be excused, but really, they should try as hard as possible to not spend more than they are making.

That being said, Clinton did a damn good job with the economy. Under Clinton, the deficit started going down as there was a very very large budget surplus.

Budget is about both SPENDING and REVENUE. Not just one or the other. Bush has also done various other things which have stifled the economy compared to Clinton (although I will give him a little credit for also do some things for some sectors which have helped them). But anyways, the economy was better with Clinton, and Bush did a shitty job with the economy, and a major part of that was the bad decision to go to war with Iraq. That had nothing to do with threat or terrorism, that had everything to do with geopolitics and oil.


I'm sorry if you are insulted, but honestly...you really don't understand how the economy and budget works. You also don't unerstand what our current situation looks like as compared with historical precedent. Further, you're speaking in platitudes that cannot be supported and in fact, can be counteracted. Allow me to get more into detail:

I am looking at the whole picture. That is, ironically, what you are not doing.

The US National Debt is 8.5 Trillion, some say 9 Trillion. That is unquestionably a very big, almost inconceivable number to most people. Let me say this: We should balance our budget and begin to pay this debt down. I fully agree. I don't like being a debtor nation anymore than you do. However, "huge" is a subjective term and really has no meaning in terms of economics. The fact of the matter is that our debt is quite managable because of the size of our economy.

Take a look at this link:

https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications...elds/2186.html

Our national debt is 64.7% of the size of our economy, expressed in terms of GDP. Japan's is a whopping 158%. Germany, France, Israel and even Canada all have more debt than we do as a percentage of GDP. In other words, it's all relative. While I agree we should reduce this figure, it is not something to go berserk over.

Personal Budget Analogy: Actually, people spend more than they make all the time. You buy a house, a car, etc. Almost everyone spends more than they make. In any case, governments often deficit finance. While I don't support it except in times of extreme need (and there have been times where it has been needed), it's again nothing to blow your fuse over. It's just not that uncommon.

Quote:
That being said, Clinton did a damn good job with the economy. Under Clinton, the deficit started going down as there was a very very large budget surplus.

No.

1. The economy wasgenerally very good towards the end of Clinton's Presidency, say from 1996/1997 onwards. It wasn't fully recovered from recession of 1991-92 until the middle of 1995.

2. By comparison, the economy now is very similar to "Clinton's booming economy." Look at the numbers for unemployment, GDP, the market, etc.

3. Most importantly: Since you claim Clinton did a "damn good" job on the economy, would you please name, say, THREE things that he did specifically to make that boom happen? Really, I'm curious. Can you even name one?

4. The deficit/surplus situtation and "managing the economy" are really not the same thing. They are nearly separate issues, except for the fact that state of the economy affects revenue. In any case, Clinton did not "create surpluses" magically as if he was some sort of fiscal genius. It was the Republican controlled Congress that began to implement it's Contract with America, coupled with good economic times that created such surpluses. Clinton signed some bills that he would not normally have, because to win reelection he took the advice of his advisor Dick Morris and began to govern in more conservative fashion. A prime example of this is welfare reform, which was a Republican proposal that Clinton had to sign.

5. "Budget is about both SPENDING and REVENUE. Not just one or the other. "

-Interesting, because that's exactly what I'm saying. However, in this case it's not the revenue that's causing our deficits, it's our expenditures. It's not the revenue because it's going up pretty dramatically. But so is spending.

6.
Quote:
Bush has also done various other things which have stifled the economy compared to Clinton (although I will give him a little credit for also do some things for some sectors which have helped them).

Such as what? I'd like to know. He's been extremely pro-business and pro-tax cut. His tax cuts stimulated the economy. What action...what ONE action has he taken to "stifle" the economy, which by the way is in excellent shape to begin with? Even if you rip on "tax cuts for the rich" (not smart to do anyway, but let's assume) that's not the same thing as doing a shitty job with the overall economy.

7.
Quote:
But anyways, the economy was better with Clinton, and Bush did a shitty job with the economy, and a major part of that was the bad decision to go to war with Iraq.

A. Not really. By just about every measure, the economy was not that much better. In some ways it's even better today, because we don't have the artificial tech bubble. The market is at record levels. Unemployment is at a 30 year low of 4.6%. GDP growth, while slowing a bit last quarter, is expected to rebound next quarter is and is steady and sustainable in 3-4% range. It's extremely strong by an objective measure. It's actually the opposite of what you were implying: Only [i]certain sectors[/] that aren't doing well, such as domestic autos (their own fault, IMO) and housing (the result of big bubble bursting).

B. Again, you need to support this statement. He inherited a recession and now the economy is essentially booming and certainly, unquestionably can be described as "very healthy." You've laid out an unsupportable position.

C. Huh? There is no evidence the Iraq war has harmed our economy. That assertion of yours doesn't even make sense. It's like saying (since you like personal analogies) that I ran up my credit cards too much last year and now I'm doing a shitty job of managing my Morgan Stanley account as a result. It's cost money to go to Iraq, more than it should have and more than I've wanted it to, but it has not harmed the economy. If anything, it's helped the defense industry, which is something that left wingers love to scream about. How, exactly, has Iraq harmed our economy? You can certainly say that it has cost us money and impacted our fiscal policy and budget, but that is about all.

Again, I'm sorry if you're insulted, but you're really not being logical here. You're speaking in platitudes and making statements in direct contradiction the facts at hand. I'd appreciate an answer tot he questions I asked when you have a chance. Thanks.

SDW
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post #110 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Under Clinton there was not a republican congress... there was a republican house of representatives starting in 1994. The Democrats still had the Senate until 2000. So the Democrats were deff in the majority. At any rate, I agree with you on a lot of the stuff you said, but I'm making the point that the economy and US budget was better under Clinton, and Bush did have a lot to do with the recession.

That's patently false. The economy was not better and may have actually been worse. And the recession had it's beginning right as Bush came into office. Even if we put that aside and we change history so that it started, say, two years later (the amount of time it takes for economic policy to take effect according to the Lag Theory, what, specifically did he do to cause it?
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post #111 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent



Call it what you will, but I've seen enough of your arguments, TO IF FACT, call YOU an ideologue!

And since, I'm a pragmatist, a realist, an observationist, an empiricalist, I'm not in the habit of taking on ideologues, since their viewpoint, can by it's nature, NEVER EXIST!


He's the idealogue? You guys can't even have a dicussion of how "socialized" our system is or isn't without using straw men tactics, telling him he's an absolutist, etc.
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post #112 of 196
The national debt actually declined under Clinton, when compared to GDP:

http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

Go back and analyze Reagan.

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #113 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister

The national debt actually declined under Clinton, when compared to GDP:

http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

Go back and analyze Reagan.

Thank you!


Tax cuts do not always stimulate the economy. In some cases they do, but in other cases they just stagnate the economy because the government is not as effective. For instance, when the very wealthy are receiving the majority of the tax cuts and the average middle class worker is not receiving barely any of that tax cut, there is no increased spending. The rich will continue to spend and invest the same, and the working class will not have the extra cash to put into the economy. With Bush's tax plan, the middle class has received very little tax cuts and the very wealthy have received a lot of tax cuts.

Also, let's talk about the way the government has been using our money. The Iraq war has cost the US over $325 billion dollars in raw costs, and each year it costs us more. War taxes the economy as well. And when it comes down to it, we are spending US tax dollars and big bucks at that to fix someone else's problems. And that means we are spending less money on the US which would could be spending on health care, stimulating the economy, and the environment. And it's not just Iraq's problem, it's George Bush's problem because he wants Oil and an easy access portal to the Middle East. Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism; the administration lied about that. All it had to do with was big business and geopolitics.

And speaking of oil, the current price of addiction to foreign oil is: $3,442,122,401,117.59

Clinton was able to balance the national budget, reduce crime and poverty, and under his presidency, there was one of the greatest economies of US history.

Take a look at this webpage to see a comparison of Clinton vs. Reagan economics.

Also take a look at this webpage to see how Bush's "Pro growth" policies were not ACTUALLY affective in cutting the deficit or stimulating the economy.

To give bush SOME credit, the real-estate market boomed during his presidency. The flipside of that is, that its crashing now, and the real-esate market is often good during times of recession.

post #114 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Tax cuts do not always stimulate the economy. In some cases they do, but in other cases they just stagnate the economy because the government is not as effective.

This is simply wrong. This is a largely Keynesian idea (more taxes, deficit spending and expansionary monetary policies) that has been more or less discredited by now. It isn't governments that make economies flourish...except to the extent that the protect individual liberties, property rights and the rule of law...and to the extent that they get out of the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

For instance, when the very wealthy are receiving the majority of the tax cuts and the average middle class worker is not receiving barely any of that tax cut, there is no increased spending.

What do you think the rich do with the extra $?

Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

it's George Bush's problem because he wants Oil

Of course it is just GWB that wants the oil.
post #115 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

This is simply wrong. This is a largely Keynesian idea that has been more or less discredited by now. It isn't governments that make economies flourish...except to the extent that the protect individual liberties, property rights and the rule of law...and to the extent that they get out of the way.



What do you think the rich do with the extra $?



Of course it is just GWB that wants the oil.

I found his web page links right on the money ( no pun intended of course ).
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #116 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Take a look at this webpage to see a comparison of Clinton vs. Reagan economics.

As usual, things are not always what they seem, and are a bit more complicated as well.

First, economies are long-run processes. Let's keep that firmly in mind.

Second, the author of the linked article clearly goes off the tracks with his obvious misunderstanding of inflation:

Quote:
It's true that inflation was beaten... but what we ended up with was an economy in which some inflation would have been an improvement! It would have done little to harm working people, whose wages would have moved up with prices, it would have stimulated employment, and it would have provided major relief to debtors, and particularly to the national debt. There would have been costs for some, but the costs we were already suffering were at least as bad. The people it would have hurt, and who therefore tried to convince us all that the stopping of inflation as a more important goal than employment or prosperity for the majority, were anyone who had loaned out funds at a fixed interest rate -- in short, the holders of capital.

Inflation is not a good thing at all. While it is true that it harms those holding notes/bonds/loans at fixed interest rates (incidentally, this includes many people who are retired or naring retirement and have larger percentages of their investment portfolios in things like lower-risk, fixed-rate bonds), it will also hurt those on fixed incomes (again retirees). Further, wages rarely rise as fast as other prices do when inflationary policies have been implemented.

It is important to understand here that inflation is not rising prices. Inflation is an increase in the supply of money...basically the government printing new money, causing the value of all existing money to deflate. Rising prices are a symptom of inflation. What is also important to realize that some people, sectors, areas or industries will benefit (at first only) from this policy of the government pushing new money into the economy, but everyone else get screwed and, in the end, it all levels out because we simply have more dollars bills floating around in nominal terms, but they are all worth less and the short-term "boost" provided by the inflationary policy has vanished. This is why Reagan's (decidely non-Keynesian) monetary policy was so important (for the short and long run).

P.S. Monetary inflation is a sneaky little government tactic to essentially "tax" its citizens without actually...well taxing them (openly).

From this article:

Quote:
Some would argue that Clinton’s 1993 tax hike was what changed the economy, but the Wall Street Journal provides evidence to the contrary. The economy continued to decline in the aftermath of the Clinton’s cut, and then “…both the stock and bond markets turned upward precisely on Election Day in 1994, beginning a whirlwind six-year rally. By 1998, growth and fiscal restraint delivered a budget surplus for the first time in nearly 30 years. In 1997 President Clinton signed a further reduction in the capital gains tax, which propelled investment and the stock market to even greater heights.

All of this is consistent with the view that Clinton's "boom" was largely toward the end of his 2nd term (not his entire presidency)...and likely the result of a Republican congress operating as a balance.

This study attempts to cut through the fog created by this partisan dialogue and spotlight the real economic record of the 1980s--sticking to "just the facts."
post #117 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

As usual, things are not always what they seem, and are a bit more complicated as well.

First, economies are long-run processes. Let's keep that firmly in mind.

Second, the author of the linked article clearly goes off the tracks with his obvious misunderstanding of inflation:



Inflation is not a good thing at all. While it is true that it harms those holding notes/bonds/loans at fixed interest rates (incidentally, this includes many people who are retired or naring retirement and have larger percentages of their investment portfolios in things like lower-risk, fixed-rate bonds), it will also hurt those on fixed incomes (again retirees). Further, wages rarely rise as fast as other prices do when inflationary policies have been implemented.

It is important to understand here that inflation is not rising prices. Inflation is an increase in the supply of money...basically the government printing new money, causing the value of all existing money to deflate. Rising prices are a symptom of inflation. What is also important to realize that some people, sectors, areas or industries will benefit (at first only) from this policy of the government pushing new money into the economy, but everyone else get screwed and, in the end, it all levels out because we simply have more dollars bills floating around in nominal terms, but they are all worth less and the short-term "boost" provided by the inflationary policy has vanished. This is why Reagan's (decidely non-Keynesian) monetary policy was so important (for the short and long run).

P.S. Monetary inflation is a sneaky little government tactic to essentially "tax" its citizens without actually...well taxing them (openly).

From this article:



All of this is consistent with the view that Clinton's "boom" was largely toward the end of his 2nd term (not his entire presidency)...and likely the result of a Republican congress operating as a balance.

This study attempts to cut through the fog created by this partisan dialogue and spotlight the real economic record of the 1980s--sticking to "just the facts."

The republicans claiming this is similar to the running joke in the 1960s about the russians inventing everything first.

Food for thought :

http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/le...10/decline.htm

http://liberalslikechrist.org/about/Reagan.html

You've got to love that picture!
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
Reply
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #118 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

I have to say something about this idea that divided government is a good thing.

We have an institutionally divided government. It's the basis of our system. The principle of checks and balances in our system is supposed to be built-in, it's not supposed to occur only when the branches are from different parties. That's what broke in 2000-2006, when Republicans put party loyalty above all, even in the face of irrational actions on the part of the executive branch. We don't necessarily need different parties controlling different branches, we just need the branches of our government to function as they should.

Our government has never operated like it did the past 6 years. Congress has always felt itself to be independent of the executive branch, even when they were of the same party. Other presidents whose parties controlled Congress never would have gotten away with the insane stuff Bush has done.

Again, anytime someone makes this claim I have to call bullshit. We didn't have a Constitutional amendment created to limit the presidency to two terms because of Bush. We had it because of FDR who ignored the tradition established by George Washington.

Before the Republicans came to power, the Democrats held the house for over 40 years and THAT is a statistical outlier as well. Finally FDR is, as afar as I know.. the only president to actually threaten the Supreme Court into doing his bidding.

We can't let Bush-hate alter history.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #119 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

Inflation is not a good thing at all.

Not true! First you have to understand inflation in context with history to understand why it is necessary and sometimes good.

Historically, inflation has been ruinous for an economy because the percentage of people with very little money (for instance E/W Europe around 1500 CE) was so high and the markets before capitalism were so small. Therefor, inflation further decreased the size of the market as more and more people could not afford to invest their money (stimulating the economy) or buy non-essentials, because they barely had enough money for living expenses.

In modern context, inflation can still be ruinous to an economy if the economy is not growing at the speed the money is inflating. For instance, during times of depression and war, the economy is not growing and often shrinking, and money inflates because people raise their prices due to fear and want for money when the economy is stagnated. The environment has to print more money because they are spending more money and people are raising prices.

This is where the Rubber Band Theory comes in. The Rubber Band Theory states that evolution of different components of a system must accelerate/evolve at similar rates or there will be a breakdown within the system; similar to the way a rubber band will snap if one end is stretched to far when the other end is moving slowly or stopped.

So when wages are rising, the workforce is rising, the amount of money being invested and spent is increasing, advertising and creation of supply to create demand (Voodoo economics) is present, inflation is good and necessary to keep up with the expanding economy, and allow it to further expand.

The basis for a Capitalist economy is that there is a very large participation in the economy for spending and investing. And this is where things break down when the middle class are taxed heavily and the rich are not. When the Middle Class are taxed heavily, they are not spending as much money (their form of contribution to the economy -- and the most significant form). However, when the rich have extra money, they spend it in sectors which will not help the economy, and they invest it in sectors which usually will. And while investing money does stimulate and grow the economy, the middle class makes up the largest percent of the population, and without their spending contribution, the economy will not grow quickly, usually causing inflation, and in this case, inflation is bad because it debases the value of the rich's investments and prevents the middle class from spending further.
post #120 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

What do you think the rich do with the extra $?

Buy uber expensive foreign sports cars? imported designer clothes? Travel? buy expensive real estate?

If you think a lot of that money comes back to the economy for the benefit of the population as a whole, I have an intergalactic space shuttle ticket for sale for you. First class.

The very rich or savvy investors never use their own money for business or real estate development.
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